Blacklock’s Reporter Freedom of Information Act requests reveals Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Regina instructed employees to spy on and report any customers supporting the Freedom Convoy in anyway. Internal documents also reveal employees were compiling a name list even after the Emergencies Act was lifted.
“FCC has received a list of names from the Ottawa Police Service in relation to a restraint order for the funds raised through the GiveSendGo crowdfunding platform for the Freedom Convoy,” said in a staff email.
The identities of customers who supported the convoy were to be recorded, according to another internal document from the FCC, and chief operating officer Sophie Perreault threatened that customers would suffer “appropriate action” if they were found to be supportive of the convoy.
“Any individual and entities that have been verified by the authorities as participating in illegal activity under the Act will face appropriate action which will include not onboarding those found to violate the Act, freezing disbursements and assessing the need to terminate business relationships,” said the email.
In an email sent on February 23, FCC chief operating officer Sophie Perreault stated that customers involved in the convoy should be reported immediately.
“If you become aware of potential customer involvement in blockades, occupations and other support of activity related to the ‘Freedom Convoy’ you must submit a tip to the customer diligence centre,” said the email. “Include the customer’s name, stated involvement, date and any other pertinent details. Please do not complete any investigative work yourself or communicate any information about FCC’s approach to customers who voluntarily disclose their involvement.”
The Freedom convoy had a fund raiser first set up on GoFundMe that saw $10.1 million in donation but the money never made it to the convoy because the account was frozen and the money returned to donors.
Shortly after the GoFundMe account was frozen another one was set up on GiveSendGo which raised $10.6 million. This money never made it to the Freedom Conoy either because a Supreme Court order froze the GiveSendGo account on February 11 through the Government of Ontario.
The Trudeau cabinet tried to spin the tail that “foreign extremists” were using the online fund raising platform to fund the freedom convoy. President of Go
FundMe Juan Benitez refuted the governments claim and said the convoy was funded by Canadians.
“Our records show 88 percent of donated funds originated in Canada,” he told Commons public safety committee on March 3.
Executives for GiveSendGo testified 63% of the contributions were from Canada. GiveSendGo co-founder Jacob Wells said “Most of the donations were under a hundred dollars,” adding “It’s pretty consistent across the board.”
More than 200 bank accounts worth nearly $8 million were frozen as a result of the invocation of the Emergencies Act from February 14 to 23.